The murdered body of 50 year old Eugenia Bratis was discovered in a wooded area just off Military Road in Phoenix Park, Dublin on the 5th August 2008. Eugenia was a Romanian national who had been travelling between Ireland and Romania for a number of years and had been living rough in Phoenix Park at the time of her murder. She had previously been seen begging on O’Connell Bridge and Street in Dublin City Centre.
Around 3.30pm on the day she was discovered, pensioner Mick Gorey was taking his daily walk in Phoenix Park when he stopped to talk to another man he knew from walking in the park. Their attention was brought to a nearby wooded area and, upon investigation, Eugenia’s body was discovered. Mr Gorey went to the nearby residence of Ann O’Shea who alerted Gardaí to the discovery. The man Mr Gorey was speaking to has not been identified and is described as average build, bald and in his late 60’s or early 70’s. Gardaí have appealed for this man to come forward.
Eugenia was lying on her side and there were plastic bags around her. It was initially believed that she had died in her sleep but when the Garda doctor lifted her clothes and duvet, it was discovered that she had been stabbed. It is believed that she had been killed between 24 and 48 hours before her body was discovered and her body showed no signs of defensive wounds. This has led Gardaí to speculate that Eugenia may have been held down by one person while another attacked her. There were no signs of sexual assault.
Gardaí were initially unsure of Eugenia’s identity but, following a media appeal where a photograph of Eugenia and her belongings were published, they traced her identity to Timisoara where her husband and two adult children were living in poor conditions.
Despite following up on over 1000 lines of enquiry, Eugenia’s murder has never been solved and a suspect has not been identified. Two Romanian men were arrested in November 2009, but this did not lead to a breakthrough.
During the trial of Graham Dwyer for the murder of Elaine O’Hara it was revealed that he made reference to Eugenia’s murder in messages to Elaine. It is believed that Gardaí plan to investigate any potential links between Eugenia and Graham Dwyer as a result.
Anyone with information can contact Cabra Garda Station on 01 666 7400, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.
Peter Gallagher was 24 years old when he went missing from his home in Donaghmede, Dublin during the early hours of the 6th July 2003. Despite numerous appeals for information by Gardaí, no trace of Peter has been found in the 17 years since he disappeared.
Peter had been celebrating at a family christening before he returned to his home in the Newgrove Estate in Donaghmede. Following an argument with his father, he left the house and has not been since.
Peter did not have his passport with him so it is not believed that he left the country. His bank accounts have also not been used.
Peter’s disappearance was featured on Crimecall in 2015 and again in 2019, when his mother and sister appeared on the show to appear for information. Despite this, Gardaí are no closer to resolving Peter’s disappearance.
Anyone with information can contact Gardaí at Coolock Garda Station on (01) 666 4200.
On the evening of 23rd December 1991, Patricia Doherty left her home in Tallaght, Dublin to do some last minute Christmas shopping. The following June, her body was found buried in a bog in the Dublin Mountains. No one has ever been arrested for her murder and, 28 years later, her murder remains unsolved.
Originally from Kerry, Patricia was living in Allenton Lawns in Tallaght with her husband and two children when she disappeared. She left her home on the evening of the 23rd December to travel to the nearby Square Shopping Centre, located about 3km from her home, to buy Santa hats for her children. This is the last time she was seen alive.
Her husband reported her missing to Gardaí on Christmas Day. Patricia worked as a prison officer in Mountjoy Prison and her husband thought she had gone to work when he did see her on Christmas Eve. The alarm was only raised that evening when Patricia did not arrive at her mother’s house as they had previously arranged.
It was only by chance that Patricia’s body was found on the 21st June, 1992. A period of dry weather caused the peat bank, exposing her shallow grave off the Kilakee Road in the Dublin Mountains. Patricia had been strangled and raped. She was identified by dental records and the rings she was wearing. Her house key was found nearby and she was still wearing her coat. Gardaí believe she was buried around the time she went missing in December of the previous year.
Gardaí have never publicly named a suspect or given any indication of a motive for her murder.
Patricia’s body was found less then a mile away from where Antoinette Smith’s body was discovered buried 4 years earlier. Antoinette’s murderer has also never been arrested. I will cover Antoinette’s case in more detail in a later blog post, but it’s hard not to wonder if these two cases are related. Gardaí have never made any comment about a link between the two cases but considering the two women were a similar age, looked similar, were both strangled and were discovered buried extremely close to each other it would feel like a strange coincidence if they were not related.
One source has floated the idea that Graham Dwyer may have been involved with Patricia’s murder. In 2015, Dwyer was found guilty of the murder of Elaine O’Hara whose body was found near Kilakee in the Dublin Mountains in 2013. Elaine went missing in August of 2012. Originally from Cork, Dwyer moved to Dublin in the early 1990’s and would have been 19 at the time of Patricia’s murder. However, Dwyer seemed fascinated with stabbing a woman to death which does not match the cause of death in Patricia’s murder. Also, if Patricia’s murder is linked to the murder of Antoinette Smith, this would rule out Dwyer as a suspect as Antoinette was murdered before he moved to Dublin.
Another possible theory is that Patricia encountered or crossed someone in her job as a prison officer. However, she had only worked in Mountjoy Prison for 6 months before her disappearance. Before this she trained in Portlaoise Prison so she could possibly have crossed someone there but surely some evidence of this would have been found.
If you have any information relating to the murder of Patricia Doherty please contact the Serious Crime Review Team using the below contact details.
Charles Self was stabbed to death in his home in Monkstown on the 21st January 1982. Despite repeated appeals for information, Gardaí are no closer to finding his killer.
Charles was born in England on Valentine’s Day 1949. Following the death of his mother, he was mainly raised by his Aunt in Glasgow. He had been working as a set-designer for the BBC when, in 1978, Alpho O’Reilly, head of design for RTÉ, persuaded him to move to Ireland to work for RTÉ. In an unrelated case, Alpho would later disappear himself in 1996 but I’ll go into more detail on that at another time.
Charles was well-known on the homosexual scene in Dublin at a time when it was extremely difficult to be gay. For context, homosexuality wasn’t decriminalised in Ireland for another 11 years.
On the evening of his murder, Charles spent about 30 minutes in The Bailey Bar. He then went to the South William Public House and stayed here until about 10.30pm. From here he met 5 friends in the now closed Bartley Dunne bar on Stephen’s Street Lower. Bartley Dunne was a known gay bar and Charles regularly socialised here.
When Bartley Dunne’s closed at 11.30pm, Charles left the bar heading along D’Olier Street onto Burgh Quay where he entered the Hotpot Café. The walk would have taken about 15 minutes. He ordered food at the Hotspot Café and spent about 30 minutes eating at the counter and chatting to the other customers.
After leaving the Hotpot Café he went to the public toilets on the corner of Burgh Quay and O’Connell Bridge. These toilets were reportedly a notorious gay hookup spot. According to witnesses, Charles spoke to two men here who were never identified and Gardaí are appealing for information on them. The first man was described as skinny, wearing a leather jacket and blue jeans, and was around 25 years old. The second man is described as pudgy with long blonde hair and wearing a black jacket with a white stripe down the sleeve.
Around 12.20am Charles and a young man took a taxi from Eden Quay back to Charles’ flat at Annesley Mews, off Brighton Avenue in Monkstown. During a reconstruction aired on RTÉ, the man with Charles was described as being very quiet, while another source says the two were ‘amorous’ in the taxi. This man was described as in his 20’s and with blonde hair. He was smartly dressed and wearing a two piece suit.
Around 8.50am on the following morning Charles was found stabbed to death at the bottom of the stairs in his flat. His body was found by Berty Tyrer, a friend who had stayed the night while Charles’ regular housemate was in London. Berty regularly crashed at Charles’ house and had stayed on this particular night as it had been snowing and this prevented him from getting to his own home in Wicklow. When Berty tried to call the Gardaí he was unable to get a dial tone and had to run to a neighbour’s to raise the alarm.
Charles had been stabbed 14 times and suffered 3 slash wounds to his throat. The torn cord from his roommate’s dressing gown was also wound tightly around his neck. The rest of the cord was tied to a chair. Gardaí reported that the assault on Charles started in the kitchen of the apartment before moving into the sitting room and ending in the hallway. The scene was described as chaotic, with the stereo still playing and records strewn across the room. The murder itself has been described by Gardaí as ‘brutal and frenzied’. 6 of the stab wounds, which were inflicted with an 8 inch kitchen knife, were so vicious that they went completely through his body.
The location of Charles’ body meant it was impossible to open the front door to the apartment. This led Gardaí to believe that the killer may have fled through a small window in the kitchen. However the window was also only 2ft wide and opened inwards making it almost impossible for someone to come in or out of, especially without disturbing the dishes on the counter. Furniture was also placed over some of the bloodstains leading Gardaí to believe the scene may have been staged.
Despite the ferociousness of the murder, Berty slept through the entire thing. He did say he was woken by someone entering his room at 2.30am before they apologised and closing the door. Although Berty only saw the man briefly he described him as having curly dark hair, while the man in the taxi with Charles was described as having straight blonde hair. Berty reported hearing no other noises that night. A neighbour in a nearby building did hear screaming during the night and another neighbour who lived across the courtyard reported hearing a stone bench being dragged through the courtyard at 4am. When she looked out she saw a man climbing over the wall into a nearby garden and noticed that the door to Charles’ home was ajar.
Gardaí received much criticism of their investigation into Charles’ murder. As mentioned above, homosexuality was still illegal at the time and the Gardaí were notoriously homophobic. Many gay men were questioned as part of the investigation and many of those questioned were not openly gay or had any logical connection to the murder. Gardaí seemed convinced that a ‘rent boy’ was responsible for the murder.
It is feared that, as Gardaí were so unwelcoming to members of the LGBT community at the time of the murder, key witnesses may have been afraid to come forward for fear of harassment. Gardaí hope that someone with information may still come forward especially as their relationship with the LGBT community has greatly improved.
The most obvious killer is the man who returned home with Charles, although Gardaí have never publicly named him as a suspect. Did something go wrong when they got to the house? Stabbing Charles 14 times, and so brutally that the knife went completely through his body, seems like overkill. It also points to a murderer who was extremely angry at the time of the killing and indicates a personal element also. Since Charles was also found with a torn ligament around his neck, and the other part of the ligament on a chair, it could indicate that the killer attempted to torture Charles in some way.
However the one thing I can’t get past is Berty sleeping through the violent struggle occurring downstairs. One newspaper explained this away by saying that Berty was in his 60s and was possibly hard of hearing but surely if someone entering his room was enough to wake him, then a violent murder taking place just downstairs would be more than enough to rouse him. The fact that Charles’ body was also found inside the front door, preventing it from being opened and with no other feasible exit, makes me extremely suspicious of Berty who remained in the house. However Gardaí never seemed to consider him a suspect and even asked him to draw a sketch of the man in the house. I haven’t found any sources stating whether Berty was gay or not, but if not this could explain why Gardaí didn’t see him as a suspect Maybe they were so determined to focus on the LGBT community that they ignored a potential suspect closer to home.
Of course there could be a much simpler explanation. Maybe Berty did hear the commotion downstairs but, fearing for his life, he stayed in his room so as to avoid getting killed himself. When he found Charles dead he was so ashamed that he didn’t intervene that he found it easier to pretend he slept through the whole event, eventually taking this secret to the grave.
Whatever happened that night, it’s been 37 years and Gardaí are still trying to discover who murdered Charles Self and what their motivation was. Anyone with information is asked to contact Gardaí at Dun Laoghaire Garda Station on 016665000.